* Russian Cutout or Useful Idiot?
* Enabler of Russian success in Interference with American election!
It is well known by US Intelligence that the Russians, and the Soviets before them, interfered with US domestic politics, with varying degrees of success. The U.S. has done the same to them, to other adversaries, and even our allies.
Historically, the Russians would not take a side, but take all sides on any issue that divides Americans. Their goal isn’t for a particular side to win or lose but only that we keep fighting among ourselves.
In Cold War days, the Soviet’s attempts at interference were negligible. Few paid attention to the Daily Worker or American communist organizations. A rally here, a fight there, a newspaper or TV story was the occasional Russian-induced success at fomenting division.
It was the digital revolution and emergence of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, bloggers, chat rooms, etc. that allowed for the creation of BOTS, stealing identities to create commentators, and groups to hit “likes” or “dislikes, and the dark web that made it attractive for Intelligence agencies to disseminate propaganda, cause division, interfere in elections and sow discord. You needn’t embed an agent in a political group. Just create a group with stolen ice ties to communicate with voters; and call for rallies. You don’t need to send provocateurs to city halls or meetings, just go on chat rooms – left or right leaning sites – and espouse angry, even violent remedies to address people’s grievances.
An analysis of Facebook postings suggest that, before the Charlestown demonstrations, numerous sites were created, and accounts stolen. It is believed Russian Intelligence infiltrated there to post both pro Black Live Matters and White Supremacist radical agendas to incite extreme behavior.
During the last presidential election, it seems the Russians really wanted not Trump or Hillary to win but that the losing side would view the winner as illegitimate and re-litigate the election. They wanted a hundred million Americans not to see the winner as “their president,” and wanted them to take action to take down and oppose the ‘illegitimate’ leader.
In 2016, Russian cutouts, or associates of Putin approached Carter Page or George Popadolous. They knew Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Mike Flynn got paid to speak at an RTL event in Moscow. There was the Russian singer who knew the Trumps from Miss Universe Moscow, who, through his agent, reached out to Donald Trump Jr., and got a meeting in Trump Tower to “expose dirt on Hillary”, gathered by the Russian government’ as part of its plan.
What is less talked about (because Hillary lost) is the Uranium One deal, where a friend of Bill Clinton and a big donor to the Clinton Foundation, Frank Giustra, a mining magnate from Canada, who, with Bill’s help, locked up the rights to a large portion of the world’s uranium (a radioactive metal used in nuclear weapons) and later flipped his rights to a Russian-controlled company, putting Russia in control of the majority of uranium in the world; a deal that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton approved, along with other cabinet heads of Obama’s National Security departments.
Clinton campaign manager John Podesta and brother Tony had dealings with a Russian banker and friend of Putin where they earned millions. Many professional intelligence analysts believe the DNC and John Podesta’s emails were stolen not hacked; we can’t be sure who was behind the acquisition of the WikiLeaks drop.
Of course, we know about Hillary’s emails – sent through a private server – that may have compromised national security. The Loretta Lynch tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton in the midst of FBI inquiry into these emails. The FISA warrants that Obama officials obtained against Trump associates on questionable showings of probable cause. [Some are calling for a second special prosecutor to look at the activities of the Clintons, the Podestas etc.] If Clinton had won there would be a special prosecutor looking at her and maybe Trump too.
Curiously, one man, one looming figure, James Comey, was integral to much of the occurrences involving the Trump campaign and early presidency, and the Clinton campaign.
He cleared Hillary of wrongdoing in her handling of emails. But scolded her for being reckless and sloppy. He announced days before the election that she was once again under investigation for a new set of emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop during a child porn investigation. Then again two days before the election, he again cleared her.
Comey did this without clearance of the Justice Department and against internal FBI guidelines. He did it with the assistance of his deputy, Andrew Mcabe, who has been cited by the FBI Inspector General for violating department regulations and misleading investigators about his actions.
Comey has released his book “Secrets and Lies” [what a great title for the man himself]. And is on book tour. Comey, whom the mainstream media presents as being integrous and honest, a literal Boy Scout.
Comey, who, as Deputy Attorney General, appointed Peter Fitzgerald as special prosecutor to investigate Scooter Libby for revealing an undercover CIA officer’s name to New York Times reporter Nancy Smart. Comey put Libby away for leaking, yet he and his deputy, McCabe, have participated in leaks and release of classified materials.
A year ago, at the Senate hearings, Comey said he took notes of conversations with the president home with him. A clear security breach, then leaked them to a friend so the friend could leak them to the New York Times. In Comey’s world, Libby gets jail for a leak, but he and McCabe can leak with impunity. Comey said he hoped the leak would lead to the appointment of a special prosecutor. Which it did. His friend and fellow righteous man of integrity, Bob Mueller, was chosen.
When the New York Times reported that Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server prompted an investigation, the Clinton campaign fought back furiously, claiming it was a routine investigation of the classification of the email contents and not a criminal investigation. Comey’s book reveals that Clinton was already under FBI criminal investigation. He tells how Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch, asked him to refer to it as a “matter” rather than an “investigation”, when it clearly was an investigation. Comey, however, said nothing then of an ongoing probe of the Clinton Foundation.
Now, suppose Hillary Clinton won the presidency. The Republicans would be shouting for investigations. Republicans would be asking Comey (who likely would have been fired by Clinton for his last minute bombshell disclosure that her emails were being investigated again) about his handling of the Clinton probe from start to finish and about the Clinton Foundation donations in exchange for State Department favors’ investigation. In just the same way his leaks and answers to last year’s Senate Committee led to a Special Prosecutor, his leaks and answers would have led to a Special Prosecutor if Clinton won.
If the Russians hoped for division and mistrust between winners and losers and for Americans to look at each other’s candidate as illegitimate; that no matter who won, the losing side would demand an appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the winning side and in the process paralyze the government of the United States, then Boy Scout Comey had the largest hand in this: The virtuous Mr. Comey:
- Revealed the Clinton investigation.
- Did not reveal the Trump investigation that already started.
- Participated in questionable surveillance of Trump associates.
- Didn’t reveal the true nature of the investigation of Hillary and Bill Clinton’s foundation.
- Cleared Clinton of criminal wrongdoing while damning her at the same time.
- Reopened an investigation of Clinton days before a close election was approaching.
- Showed President-Elect Trump that there was a file that showed he was compromised by the Russians that included Trump participating in sexual activities with hookers.
- Kept notes after his discussions with the president including his asking for “loyalty”.
- Admitted to leaking with the hope it would lead to a special prosecutor.
- Admittedly, throughout 2016, only told half the story or leaked parts of it.
His book “Secrets and Lies“ suggest his actions would have led to a special prosecutor of a Clinton presidency (and still could lead to one for the Clintons). All these actions, whether well-intended mistakes, designed mischief, incompetence, or something else, much darker, must be making the Russians gleeful as our country appears to devour itself in vitriol.
Some look at this Russian investigation, fearing a “Manchurian Candidate” scenario, where our president is controlled by a foreign government. But watching Comey, I think of a John Le Carre novel where a high ranking US Intelligence official is actually a Russian mole and together they set up an extraordinary scenario for our country:
Like laying the groundwork for whoever won the presidency (Clinton or Trump) to be dogged by a special prosecutor, trailed by questions and new revelations, Whoever the winner would be, he or she would be President of a Divided States of America.
You got to hand it to Comey; he had the biggest hand in it all, save maybe his partners, the Russians.